Hand Sew A Pillow Closed – An Easy Tutorial

Recently, I shared with you how to make a pillow, but in that post I didn’t go into the different ways to close a pillow once you’ve made the cover and inserted the pillow form.  There are several ways to close a pillow  – you can machine stitch the bottom edges closed, insert a zipper, or you can use my favorite method – hand sew a pillow closed using a ladder stitch.   That’s the method I’ll be sharing with you today.

Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques.

How To hand-Sew A Pillow Closed from NewtonCustomInteriors.com

This post contains some affiliate links.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How To Hand Sew A Pillow Closed


Here’s a short video I did showing how to hand sew a pillow closed using the ladder stitch.  Written instructions are below the video.


1) Before hand sewing a pillow closed, I recommend serging the bottom edges of the pillow.  This will help keep the edges of the fabric from fraying.

2) After serging the bottom edges, sew a stitching line 3/8″ away from edges of fabric along the bottom side.  This will give you a good guideline for making your 1/2″ fold/seam allowance.

3) Starting at the right side of the pillow – take a small stitch on one side of the fabric.  Then take another stitch directly across on the other side of the pillow.

4) Continue on across the bottom edge of the pillow from right to left.

5) When you get to the left side of the pillow, make a knot.

Here you can see the bottom of the finished pillow closed with the ladder stitch.  The ladder stitch really does make a nice closure for the pillow.  Hard to tell that it isn’t a regular machine-stitched seam.

pillow hand sewn closed

I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to hand-sew a pillow closed tutorial!


If you loved this pillow tutorial, you’ll love these pillow tutorials too:

How To Make A Pillow With Video Tutorial from NewtonCustomInteriors.com

How To Make A Pillow


How To Make Cording

How To Make A Pillow With Cording from NewtonCustomInteriors.com

How To Make A Pillow With Cording

I’m joining these parties.

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps On The Porch


  1. This is my favorite hand stitch – and I’ve been looking for a good tutorial and this is the best one I’ve found! And I LOVE your thimble…you mean business!

  2. Your video was extremely helpful since I am a visual learner. Thank you for sharing that wonderful way to close an opening. I’ll be sure to use it in the future.

  3. This is always tricky for me. Stopping by from the Pin Me linky and pinning! 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness….thanks so much for making this tut on hand closing pillows. I am a basic level sewer and have always struggled on how to professionally close a pillow without seeing the thread. Glad I found your site from a share on It’s Overflowing. Am your newest fan!

  5. I love this! I often am frustrated with my hand stitching when I sew pillows, but this looks like a great solution!

  6. Awesome tutorial!
    Thank you so much for sharing this on Tutorial Thursdays. Please do come by and place your vote on your favourite link from last week, it may be featured if it wins the voting! I look forward to seeing what you share with us this week 🙂

    Marigolds’ Loft

  7. I’m so glad you posted the video–that’s very helpful for sewers with not much experience like myself! I’m stopping by from Inspire Me Please (#2 Budget Bathroom Makeover and 11 Inspiring Ideas) Have a great weekend!

  8. Looks easy but not sure if it’s as easier in practical. Got to try this. Glad you share this on the #LOBS.

  9. Thanks for this tip! My daughter makes pillows often, but I have been to intimidated to try it. (Mainly because I didn’t know how to close it! I’m going to pin this. Stopped by from the LOBS.

  10. You make this look so easy! Wondering if I could pull it off. I’ve bookmarked as I need to redo a few decor pillows. Thanks for linking it up at LOBS!

  11. Very nice tutorial. What type of needle do you recommend and prefer? I noticed yours was quite long.

  12. As a new father, I’ve found myself needing to repair things here and there from an active toddler & the power tools are no help. =P

    Thanks for this very helpful tutorial.

  13. Pingback: Tutorial – How to Hand Sew a Pillow Closed
  14. Pingback: DIY Accent Pillows - Life and Dim Sum | Food.Fashion.Fab
  15. Thank you so much for the tutorial! On my way to sew closed my little one’s tooth fairy pillow!
    Warm regards,

  16. Thank You! So much for the tutorial! The Ladder stitch is such a handsome stitch! I used it to sew the reverse on the bias binding around a pillow, and the stitch is indiscernible from the machine stitched side. I will be using this stitch for a lot of my hand- stitched finishings. I am extremely happy with the results.

  17. Great tutorial!
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our link party Something to talk About!
    Have a great day and hope to see you there!

  18. I always use this method to close my pillows. It is also a quick removal if you need to change the cover. And not as labor intense as adding a zipper.

  19. I remember learning the ladder stitch and thinking it was pure genius. 🙂 Such a useful stitch and tutorial.

  20. I have a quick question. where can I buy the pillow shells to make my own stuffed pillows. I just need plain white ones and all I can find on the net are pillow protectors. I need the inner casing. Thanks

  21. Thank you so much for your clear videos! I’m very very new to sewing, but with two of your hand-sewing tutorials, I made my own decorative pillow, and it looks great! Couldn’t have done it without you!

  22. Love your tutorial and thimble. I can never keep a metal one on my finger. Where can I find a leather one like yours?

  23. Hi Jann,
    I am trying to view your video on How to hand sew a pillow closed but the video I get is your How to make a shirt pillow. I don’t think that you will show how to sew a pillow closed on a video for how to make a shirt pillow. What am I miss going here?
    Thank you and kind regards,
    Lita B.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *